I feel like I was in the same boat as a lot of people when I wanted to get consistent about starting to workout. I kept facing feelings of guilt toward not being consistent with my routine or new goals I was trying to reach. I guess that's half the battle right there when you're actually starting to reach out for "systems" on how to be consistent.
So I just wanted to share a few tips on what helped me go through this whole process. I've went through this whole process having to deal with a multitude of ups and downs and I want to reach out to people who might be facing the same challenges. So here is a quick summary of how I went to this whole process and what worked for me.
-Define your objectives
When I started I really wanted to lose weight. I was at around 220lbs at the time and wasn’t feeling too confident about the way I looked or how other people looked at me.
So the objective part was really simple to me: LOSE WEIGHT. More precisely, I wanted to lose 20 pounds.
Other objectives also included feeling of wellness, extra boost in energy, generally improving my overall life.
-What is your comfort zone
I knew that to lose weight, I had to be active. From my perspective and with the lifestyle I had working as an IT Tech, the choices were pretty simple. I could find an activity or a sport that I liked doing or I could join the gym and commit to go on a regular basis.
Being somehow of a shy person (you know how those IT guys are), I really didn't feel comfortable committing to a sport. I didn't really ever play any sports so I was confronted with the fear of making a fool out of myself (the newbie syndrome)
I decided to go ahead and join the gym. This is where I was confronted with what was comfortable and uncomfortable to me. Being the type of guy that really wasn't in shape and had absolutely no knowledge about working out (how to perform a squat properly, how to effectively work with dumbbells, etc..) you just don't feel like you are in your niche when you are surrounded with a massive community of bodybuilders. That is why my initial choice of starting to workout really early in the morning was a no brainer to me.
There were less people which meant not having to wait for the machines, which would also mean I could start to get comfortable performing new exercises and not be scared to look like an idiot (no one was around to see it)
So the plan was to get up early in the morning, to be at the gym at 6:00 AM twice a week and then leave off for the office.
-Don't start with anything too big
As a newbie, I just felt like I was completely overwhelmed with the amount of information there was about effective workout routines, nutrition, supplement, etc .. So I decided to start slow.
After a few Google searches, I managed to find an effective workout program which was quite simple. I didn't want to have to deal with something that was out of my range and that could easily make me want to quit.
The idea was to work around core muscles with exercises I had never did. Squats, bench press, overhead press, pull-ups were what I would have to get comfortable with. So quite simply, I decided to do 2 exercises in one session and the other two on the other one.
Just so I am clear, this is a process that I started and ended up quitting many times before it finally became consistent. Overall this working out approach really looked simple so I didn't have any arguments to quit. Gym twice a week, two exercises per session, which would probably involve 1 hour and a half out of 168 hours week. Anybody could do that.
-Don ‘t focus on instant results
Most of the time I ended up quitting was because I had not seen any results in those 2 months I had been waking up at 5:30AM to workout. Other reasons were also because my nutrition wasn't on par with my objective. So my take on this is just to trust the system. Trust that the time you put into working out is going to pay off if you are consistent over a long period of time.
My goal was to lose 20lbs. For the first 2-3 months, I personally don't remember losing anything significant. I just kept going. I was motivated by the fact that if I could be up that early to work my ass off when everybody was still sleeping, I was bound to see results. I would keep pushing.
After 4 months, I dropped to 205 lbs. This is where I felt like everything started to change. I just felt so motivated knowing I was just 5 lbs. away from reaching my goal. Knowing I had been going at this for more than 4 months now, you just don't feel like quitting even though you've almost reached the Promised Land. I kept going, and going and going and going.
The number on the scale kept going down. 200, 195, 180, 170, 165... You have no idea how good it feels to reach a goal. When you exceed it by that big of a margin, you start to get to the feeling that you can kind of accomplish anything for yourself.
-Stay up to date and informed on the subject
Of course none of this would have been possible if I hadn't spent the time to find good valuable information on the subject.
This mainly included searching forums like bodybuilding.com or reading a ton of book I found on amazon.com. Of course, it’s not something I did before starting to workout. I mostly found an easy routine with easy changes I could make to the way I was eating and constantly improved them with the information I found valuable.
Over time, I started to get interested in the whole nutrition/bodybuilding universe. It wasn’t just going to the gym to lose weight anymore. It started to become a topic that truly interested me, which is why I started reading books about it.
This is more of a process that developed when I started seeing results because this is when I truly started to gain confidence and this whole thing.
So don’t be scared if you find yourself not knowing anything about losing weight or bodybuilding in general… remember that you just have to start somewhere and be consistent.
-Constantly readjusting your routine
It's been about 10 months now since I started that whole process. Eventually, I adjusted my workout routine to 3 days a week where I would do 3 exercises (mostly core muscles) a session and a good 20 minutes of High intensity interval cardio.
Currently, I work out 5 days a week where I do 3 days of weight lifting and 2 days of high intensity cardio.
Looking back at this whole process, I never could have believed I would be doing this amount of physical activity 10 months ago.
This is a process that truly helped me change the way I see every big outcome in life. We live in a world where most people are conditioned to instant results. Like many major aspects that we all want to improve in our life, we have to come to realize that these goals require time and effort. They can’t just be given to you from pulling out your credit card to hire a personal trainer or to from buying a membership to weightwatcher
There are no magic pills that will make you lose weight, get lean, and feel happy. You just have to be consistent about that goal you have in mind and constantly readjust. There has to be a burning desire.
-Keep the flow going
Obviously anyone who starts seeing major results in their overall health isn’t prone to just quit. You will want to get better at another aspect of your life once you feel you’ve built some experience in this field.
Constant reminders from people telling you how much you've changed. That feeling you will get fitting into clothes that are way smaller than what you’re used to. Seeing those constant improvements in the way you look in the mirror.
Those are motivators that are going to keep the flame burning. It’s easy to keep riding the wave at that point, but you’re going to start to seek a bigger one eventually.
I hope this will help anyone looking to lose weight or just seeking motivation towards any health related goals.
Please feel free to leave comments. I’d like to know the thoughts of anyone on this who’s in the process of losing weight, or getting a handle on their health. What are your dreams, your fears and your hesitation about this whole process?